Peter Steinfels and Angus Phillips

Two sad endings: last Sunday the final Angus Phillips column ran in the Washington Post [1]; yesterday Peter Seinfels announced that the next "Beliefs" column in the New York Times will be the last. Both men write extraordinarily well. For 35 years Phillips explored the outdoor worlds of hunting, fishing, sailing, etc. For 20 years Steinfels explored the interior worlds of religious philosophy. As he said in his penultimate essay, "In Tapestry of Columns, a Search for Threads" [2]:

... intelligence and critical reasoning are essential to adult approaches to faith. In short, theology matters. It is curious that so many otherwise thoughtful people imagine that what they learned about religion by age 13, or perhaps 18, will suffice for the rest of their lives. They would never make the same assumption about science, economics, art, sex or love.

The same applies to Nature—one can always learn more. Both Steinfels and Phillips introduced me to new ideas and experiences, concepts and challenges I had never imagined. Perhaps their articles will be anthologized, so I can read them in years to come ...

(cf. Where Was God (2002-09-14), Angus Phillips (2007-11-26), Secular Conscience (2009-02-17), ...) - ^z - 2009-12-20